Court Seals Docs in Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin Lawsuit Against NASA


Amazon  (AMZN) – Get Report founder Jeff Bezos's space company Blue Origin on Monday won a protective order in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims sealing documents in its lawsuit against NASA, which alleges that the agency didn't properly evaluate its proposal for the human landing system program that was awarded to Tesla  (TSLA) – Get Report founder Elon Musk's SpaceX.

Blue Origin requested the protective order to protect confidential, proprietary and source selection information contained in its complaint, as well as other filings and hearing transcripts in its bid protest, according to a SpaceNews report.

Bezos's space company filed its lawsuit against NASA on Friday in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, challenging an alleged unlawful and improper evaluation of its proposal for a human landing system program.

NASA said in a Monday statement that it is “currently reviewing details of the case.”

Blue Origin filed its lawsuit in response to the U.S. Government Accountability Office's July 30 denial of a protest by the company and Dynetics Inc. of NASA's award to SpaceX of a $2.9 billion contract for a human lunar landing system.

Blue Origin and Huntsville, Ala., Dynetics on April 26 filed a protest with the GAO after NASA awarded SpaceX the contract, asserting that NASA was required to make multiple awards consistent with its broad agency announcement that stated a preference for multiple awards. The companies said that NASA was required to open discussions, amend or cancel its broad agency announcement when it determined it had inadequate funding to support multiple awards.

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The protest argued that “NASA unreasonably evaluated all three of the proposals” submitted by SpaceX, Blue Origin and Dynetics, and it improperly waived a mandatory solicitation requirement of SpaceX.

The GAO, however, concluded NASA did not violate procurement law or regulation when it decided to make only one award. It said NASA's announcement stated that the number of awards was subject to the amount of funding available for the program. NASA reserved the right to make multiple awards, a single award or no award at all, the decision said.

The government agency also said there was no requirement for NASA to discuss, amend or cancel the announcement as a result of the amount of funding available for the program.

The GAO agreed with the protesters that NASA waived a requirement for SpaceX in a limited instance, but the protesters could not establish that any reasonable possibility of competitive prejudice arising from the limited discrepancy in the evaluation, according to the decision.

Blue Origin, a space-tourism company founded by Bezos, completed a test flight on July 20 with a crew including Bezos, his brother Mark Bezos, aerospace pioneer Mary Wallace Funk and 18-year-old physics student Oliver Daemen.

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